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Enter the world of Oblivion

oblivion movie

The year is 2077.  The Earth has been invaded, the moon destroyed.  What remains is a wasteland, nearly unfit for habitation, and a two-person clean up crew responsible for drone maintenance and security.  The human race has moved to Titan, one of Saturn’s moons.  The TET, a large high atmosphere structure, acts as a command module to assist the clean up crew and act as a gateway between Earth and Titan.

Tom-Cruises-Oblivion-Latest-stills-1Enter Jack Harper (Tom Cruise), tech 49, nearing the end of a 5-year mission on Earth which he has served with communications officer, Victoria (Andrea Riseborough).  His mind has been erased.  A mandatory measure to ensure the safety of their mission.  But fragments remain.

Every day for Jack and Victoria is pretty much the same: rise, eat, and embark to protect the operations currently underway to extract what remains of Earth’s resources.  With the aid of weaponized drones, which Jack is responsible for maintaining and keeping online, his team is aided by a commander onboard TET, Sally (Melissa Leo).  Their efforts are constantly being hindered by a group of people referred to as Scavs.

When the Scavs manage to bring down a U.S. spaceship, the introduction of a strangely familiar woman named Julia (Olga Kurylenko) threatens everything Jack knows to be true, forever changing the course of his life.

Oblivion is directed by Joseph Kosinski and features a hauntingly hopeful and futuristic score by M83.  It is based on Kosinki’s unpublished graphic novel of the same name.  Oblivion also stars Morgan FreemanZoë Bell, and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau.

I sprung to see Oblivion in IMAX and choose to see it with my brother, a lifelong Tom Cruise fan, and my girlfriend who is quite the opposite.  I felt my Tom Cruiseexpectations for the film needed some external biasing.  You can say what you will about Cruise, but the man’s dedication and energy is always there, seaming just below the surface.  His tastes in science fiction works has also been relatively solid with films like Minority Report and War of the Worlds.

Oblivion, with its epic grandeur and high-gloss sci-fi production values is a solid film with gorgeous, sweeping views of filming locations like Iceland and Mammoth Lakes.  With a lush, futuristic score by M83, the film has a strangely 70′s sci-fi vibe that manages still to be fresh.

Visually stunning and aurally impressive, Oblivion is worth seeing in IMAX – or, at the very least, in a theater with DLP capabilities.

There are some minor issues with the structure of Oblivion‘s plot, things that will be knit-picked to death by die hard science fiction fans.  I also wonder about the length of the film – which comes in at 129 minutes.  For a film of its length, I feel like there is something missing there.

We begin with a long voice-over narration and are then inundated with the same information throughout the film.  Voice-over narration is always a bit dicey and its presence in a film should be questioned.  Overlooking the narration, there’s the issue of fluff.  The director serves up a whole lot of action, almost to the point of being excessive, but you are strangely left feeling like there’s not a whole lot going on.

 

Those things aside, there are other, larger elements within Oblivion that make the film worthwhile beyond it’s sci-fi offerings.  Themes like duty, sacrifice, love are threaded through the body of Oblivion, but are they enough to make you care about what happens?

If anything, Oblivion seems to be stuck between genres, struggling to construct a world where humanity and romance coexists with heavy duty science fiction.

Official Site: Oblivion

Listen to M83′s “Starwaves” from the OBLIVION soundtrack and prepare to be overwhelmed

M83-desert-promo-photo-600x450
So many amazing artist have transitioned into composing soundtracks and have done so successfully. Trent Reznor, Danny Elfman, Jonsi, Johnny Greenwood, BECK and Randy Newman just to name a few. All great artist and all clearly capable of pushing themselves to that next level. Anthony Gonzalez  of M83 can now be added to that list, but it isn’t like his music hasn’t been used in a slew of trailers and commercial’s, it’s just that this recent endeavor makes it official. Most of you remember the M83 track “OUTRO” off their “Hurry Up Were Dreaming” album, that was used in The Cloud Atlas  trailer. If that song didn’t help sell that highly complicated film, to people who had no idea what the film was, I don’t know what did. There’s no one I know, that didn’t say they got chills when they saw the trailer for The Cloud Atlas for the first time. It’s a shame too, cause not only was the film a respectable endeavor, but the soundtrack composed by Tom Tykwer, Johnny Klimek, Reinhold Heil is absolutely outstanding and it along with other aspects of the film were completely snubbed by The Academy of Motion Picture Art and Sciences   this year. This really doesn’t surprise me considering this institution was also responsible for snubbing Martin Scorsese for best director of Good Fellas, they also had never given an award to Alfred Hitchcock. Alfred Hitchcock…wtf! So yeah, they suck! But you know what doesn’t suck? This new  M83 track off the OBLIVION OST. Look folks, I know I have been bad mouthing this film, but it’s because I’m not making the connection. I felt too much has already been given away in the trailer, so unless director Joseph Kosinski (Tron Legacy), pulls an amazing M.Knight Shyamalan, people are going to be disappointed. Allow me to make this very clear…I want this film to work. This is just how I’m feeling right now, that being said, I think leaking this little snippet from the OST is moving in the right direction and should snatch in the last few line toter’s before the films releases on April 19, 2013. M83′s Anthony Gonzalez scored Oblivion with Disney XD’s TRON: Uprising composer Joseph Trapanese , the two are being called M83 although Joseph is not a current member.

If you haven’t seen nor heard Tron: Uprising yet…well damn. It’s not just a cartoon people, it’s some serious next level animation. I’ve embedded the soundtrack from Tron Uprising below, compliment’s of Geek Tyrant’s SoundTRAX series on Soundcloud. If these two great musician’s continue to work together, they have a very promising future in the film industry.

Kosinski’s Oblivion (also known as Horizons) stars Tom Cruise as Jack Harper, plus Morgan Freeman, Olga Kurylenko, Zoe Bell, Andrea Riseborough, Melissa Leo and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau.

Living and patrolling the breathtaking skies from thousands of feet above, Jack’s soaring existence is brought crashing down when he rescues a beautiful stranger from a downed spacecraft. Her arrival triggers a chain of events that forces him to question everything he knows and puts the fate of humanity in his hands.

Oblivion opens in theaters and in IMAX 3D on April 19, 2013.

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#OBLIVION #Tom Cruise #M83 #Universal Studios #Anthony Gonzalez #Science Fiction #Joseph Kosinki

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